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Sylvester, William 2010 Evaluation


Eighteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable William Blair Sylvester

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain

The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Chief Judge William Blair Sylvester BE RETAINED.

Judge Sylvester is an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland in 1973 and earned his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1976. He previously was a frequent trainer on the national level for the National College of District Attorneys and lectured for the Colorado District Attorney’s Council. He currently works to improve the judiciary, serving on several judicial committees such as the State Judicial Human Resources Committee, Court Security Committee, Civility Committee, Court Reporter Committee, Colorado Judicial Coordinating Council (State/Federal Judges), and Administrators Management Advisory Committee.

Judge Sylvester was in private law practice prior to becoming a Deputy District Attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District in 1991. He was appointed to the District Court bench in 2001. He is very involved in children’s issues and currently hears primarily adoption and juvenile delinquency cases, but does assist other judges with other types of cases. In October of 2006, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appointed Judge Sylvester as Chief Judge of the Eighteenth Judicial District serving Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties. His docket consists primarily of adoptions and juvenile delinquency cases.

The Commission conducted extensive research in making this recommendation of retention, including use of attorney and non-attorney surveys conducted on the judge, interviewing people involved in the courtroom, personal observations in the courtroom, reviewing a written self-evaluation and conducting a personal interview. Judge Sylvester exceeded all district and county court judges in the attorneys’ and non-attorneys’ surveys of his abilities. He received excellent reviews for his demeanor, fairness, communication, diligence and application of the law. He was instrumental and enthusiastic with initiating the Mental Health Court by working with the Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network board of directors and key staff to help lead a highly collaborative process to develop comprehensive court policies and procedures, legal requirements, treatment protocols and evaluation plans. The Commission finds that Judge Sylvester is an outstanding judge, who has and is serving honorably, diligently, and a credit to the legal profession. Comments that Judge Sylvester is intelligent, knowledgeable, caring, fair, concerned for others, and runs a good courtroom are common in his evaluations.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 85% recommended to retain, 10% not to retain, and 5% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 90% recommended to retain and 10% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 90% recommended to retain, 3% not to retain, and 7% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 98% recommended to retain and 3% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)